Earth Science Week Update October 2016

American Geosciences Institute
Vol. 14, No. 10: October 2016


Explore Geoheritage
With Classroom Activities

How can you and your students explore "geoscience heritage" during Earth Science Week and beyond? You can start with any of the 30 geoheritage learning activities available on the program website.

"Our Shared Geoheritage" is the theme of Earth Science Week 2016. Geoheritage, or geoscience heritage, is the collection of natural wonders, landforms, and resources that have formed over eons and come to this generation to manage, use, and conserve effectively. And there is no better way to discover it than through hands-on investigations.

Maybe you'll model a fault, examine a geologic map, uncover a fossil, explore a cave, or identify minerals. Find activities dealing with these topics at Geoheritage Learning Activities. This new resource is part of the Our Shared Geoheritage website, which also features many additional educational resources.

Watch Exciting New Video
On Earth Science Week

To kick off Earth Science Week 2016 in style, watch the promotional video recently produced by AGI to trumpet the importance of the Earth sciences and the celebration's role in promoting public awareness.

Why is Earth science a big deal? How does Earth Science Week help promote learning and teaching about the subject? And what can you do to get involved? Find out in this brief, exciting, eye-popping video.

View the new Earth Science Week video online. To see additional AGI videos relating to Earth Science Week, check out ourVideos page.

Citywide Celebrations
Add Local Focus to Event

How is your town celebrating Earth Science Week? AGI is pleased to announce city-specific celebrations of its annual geoscience awareness campaign, Earth Science Week, taking place October 9-15, 2016. Major American cities such as Houston, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, will serve as major centers of public awareness activities.

In all these cities, AGI is collaborating with geoscience organizations and public schools to extend and deepen the reach of the successful Earth Science Week campaign with special events, educational materials, online resources, and activities in schools and other settings.

To support these "Citywide Celebrations," AGI is donating hundreds of Earth Science Week Toolkits to schools and educators in Houston, Denver, D.C., and Richmond. Each kit contains dozens of study guides, posters, disks, and other resources for Earth science education, which will be used to inspire activities in the classroom. Many materials focus on the theme of "Our Shared Geoheritage."

In addition, AGI has launched the official Citywide Celebrations website to provide educators, students, and families with links to additional educational resources as well as other offerings in participating cities. Why not partner with local geoscience organizations to launch a Citywide Celebration in your area? Go online for more information on Earth Science Week Citywide Celebrations.

Visit DC's Smithsonian for
National Fossil Day Event

What's old is new again! Join paleontologists and park rangers for the seventh annual National Fossil Day event in Washington, D.C. The National Park Service and the Smithsonian Institution are collaborating to host the National Fossil Day Celebration at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History on Saturday, October 15, 2016.

The event, which will take place following National Fossil Day celebrations elsewhere nationwide, is free and open to the public. The program, free and open to the public, will include "Dinosaur Tracks" and "Wheel of Fossilization" games hosted by AGI. See online for more information on this event.

Elsewhere nationwide, the official National Fossil Day will take place on Wednesday, October 12. The celebration is organized by the National Park Service as part of Earth Science Week to promote public awareness and stewardship of fossils, with the goal of inspiring the next generation of paleontologists and fossil enthusiasts.

National Fossil Day resources and activities celebrate the scientific and educational value of fossils, paleontology, and the importance of preserving fossils for future generations.
Learn more about National Fossil Day.

Earth Science Week 2016
Contest Extends Globally

Earth Science Week has expanded eligibility for its annual photography contest to allow international members of all AGI Member Societies and members of AGI's three International Associate Societies to participate. Once open only to residents of the United States, the photo contest has always been a major part of Earth Science Week, which this year is being celebratedOctober 9-15.

International members of AGI Member Societies and members of AGI International Associate Societies, as well as U.S. residents, are encouraged to enter this year's Earth Science Week photography contest, "Our Heritage in Earth Systems." These individuals are invited to use a camera to show how earth systems interact in their communities. Learn more.

Innovation Is Nothing New
To Earth Science Week

What's new with Earth Science Week? It's always something! This year the program brings you a new Our Shared Geoheritage resource, the One Shared Place video competition, Earth Observation Day, an expanded roster of Citywide Celebrations, and more.

But, really, that's nothing new. Each year, Earth Science Week has added to the bursting clearinghouse of educational resources, activities, and initiatives available to participants. "Earth science is always progressing, and so is Earth Science Week," says AGI Outreach Manager Geoff Camphire. "We are continually experimenting, expanding, and improving to serve our audience effectively."

For instance, a recently-added web page outlines new features and links that have been developed, year by year, over the past 12 years. To learn more, see Earth Science Week Innovations.

Don't Delay: Order Your
Earth Science Week Toolkit

Earth Science Week 2016 Toolkits are flying off the shelves! The kit contains everything you need to celebrate Earth Science Week (October 9-15) and explore Earth science education throughout the year.

Focusing on the theme "Our Shared Geoheritage," the 2016 kit includes:

  • 12-month school-year activity calendar, suitable for hanging
  • New Earth Science Week poster, including a learning activity
  • NASA DVD and material on Earth observation, energy, and more
  • National Park Service posters on geologic and air resources
  • Ecology DVD and more from Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • UNAVCO ruler on Earth's shape, gravity, and rotation
  • Mining, exploration, and reclamation resources from SME
  • Material on energy science from Student Energy
  • AmericaView Memory Game poster (Earth Observation Day)
  • Exploring Earth and Space coloring book by AGU
  • Geologic timescale bookmark from AIPG
  • Dinosaur worksheet from the Bureau of Land Management
  • Esri flyer on Topography and Our National Heritage
  • Geologic Map Day poster with geologic mapping activity
  • Climate worksheet from American Meteorological Society
  • Brochures, bookmarks, fact sheets, postcards, and more

Each year, Earth Science Week focuses on a new topic in its toolkit of materials for educators. Choose the kit that best fits your instructional needs. "Visualizing Earth Systems" explores visualizations. "Earth's Connected Systems" illuminates natural systems' interactions. "Mapping Our World" covers maps. "Discovering Careers in the Earth Sciences" targets careers. "Our Ever-Changing Earth" focuses on change processes.

For ordering, special shipping, bulk order discounts, and more information, visit online or phone AGI Publications at 703-379-2480.

'No Child Left Inside' Day
Comes to Your Area

On the Tuesday of Earth Science Week, October 11, you can make sure there's "No Child Left Inside" (NCLI). Dedicate a day to outdoor activities enabling young people to experience the geosciences firsthand - during Earth Science Week or any time throughout the year.

To help, the NCLI Day Guide is now available in PDF format for easy printing and outdoor use. This free guide provides everything you need to start planning your own NCLI Day event, including 17 outdoor learning activities recommended for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Plan your own NCLI Day event, where educators and young people can wade into ponds, climb hills, or search the skies to learn Earth science. Find the NCLI Day Guide online. Have a great NCLI Day!

Explore 'Big Ideas' in
Videos, Classroom Activities

AGI now offers award-winning videos and related classroom activities to help students, educators, and others explore the "big ideas" of Earth science during Earth Science Week 2016 (October 9-15) and all year long. Recently added are dozens of additional activities selected specifically to help educators teach about core concepts of Earth science.

Big Ideas videos are brief video clips that bring to life the big ideas of Earth science - the nine core concepts that everyone should know. The Earth Science Literacy Initiative, funded by the National Science Foundation, has codified these underlying understandings of Earth science which form the basis of the Big Ideas videos.

View the Big Ideas videos on YouTube or TeacherTube. The Earth Science Week website provides related resources. Educators can find more than 100 classroom activities online to help students build understanding of the "big ideas."

Act Now to Win Award
For Earth Science Teaching

Earth Science Week 2016 (October 9-15) wouldn't be so successful without the efforts of amazing Earth science teachers. That's why AGI is announcing details for its upcoming award competition, the 2017 Edward C. Roy, Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching.

Given annually, this award is presented to one teacher of grades K-8 in the United States or Key Stages 1-3 in the United Kingdom each year. The award recognizes leadership and innovation in Earth science education.

The winner of the Edward C. Roy Award will receive a cash prize and an additional travel grant to attend the National Science Teachers Association Annual Conference in Chicago in March 2017. To be eligible, applications must be submitted by January 20, 2017.

The Edward C. Roy Award is given in honor of Dr. Edward C. Roy, Jr., a strong and dedicated supporter of Earth science education. Find more information on requirements, application procedures, and deadlines online.

Contest Winners to Be
Announced Next Month

Friday, October 14, is the deadline to email and mail your submissions! AGI thanks the many hundreds of students, educators, and others who are entering this year's Earth Science Week video, photo, visual arts, and essay contests.

Winners will be announced in November 2016. AGI will contact winners directly and recognize their success both on the Earth Science Week website and in this electronic newsletter.

Geologic Map Day
Boosts Mapping Education

You're invited to take part in the fifth annual Geologic Map Day by conducting learning activities along with teachers and students across the country on Friday, October 14. New online is this year's geologic mapping activity, entitled "Why Settle at Mesa Verde."

Check out the Geologic Map Day poster included in the Earth Science Week 2016 Toolkit. The poster provides a geologic map, plus step-by-step instructions for the classroom activity.

Hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey, Association of American State Geologists, National Park Service, Geological Society of America, NASA, and Esri in partnership with AGI, this special event promotes awareness of the study, uses, importance of geologic mapping for education, science, business, and a variety of public policy concerns. Additional resources for learning about geologic maps can be found on the Geologic Map Day web page.

Thanks to Earth Science
Week's Generous Sponsors

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, Earth Science Week is able to promote awareness and appreciation of the geosciences among over 50 million people every year. AGI would like to express its appreciation to the many government agencies, nonprofit groups, and corporations that make the program possible.

Earth Science Week couldn't do its important work without the support of organizations such as the U.S. Geological Survey; National Park Service; AAPG Foundation; NASA; American Geophysical Union; Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration; Geological Society of America; Association of American State Geologists; Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Archaeological Institute of America; ExxonMobil; AmericaView; and Esri. In addition, year after year, Earth Science Week Toolkits are purchased in bulk for distribution to educators by organizations such as NASA and Schnabel Engineering.

Learn how your organization can become an Earth Science Week Sponsor. Or order Earth Science Week Toolkits for teachers in your area.

Earth Science Week Closes
With Day of Archaeology

Earth Science Week 2016 reaches its climax with International Archaeology Day on Saturday, October 15. The event is a celebration of archaeology and the thrill of discovery!

Every October, the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) - an Earth Science Week partner - and archaeological organizations across the United States, Canada, and elsewhere present archaeological programs and activities for people of all ages and interests. Whether it is a family-friendly archaeology fair, a guided tour of a local archaeological site, a simulated dig, a lecture or a classroom visit from an archaeologist, the interactive, hands-on International Archaeology Day programs provide the chance to indulge your inner "Indiana Jones."

Check out educational resources on the International Archaeology Day website. In addition, see the "Space Archaeology" learning activity in this year's Earth Science activity Calendar, included in the Earth Science Week 2016 Toolkit.


The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment. Contact Earth Science Week online.